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It came down to desire

6 May 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka said that the final-day defeat against Bolton came down to desire as The Trotters secured their Championship status.

A 3-2 defeat at the Macron Stadium meant that Bolton preserved their place in the division and Karanka said that he understood the joy felt by their players, staff and supporters.

Speaking after the game, he said: "I can understand how happy they are in this moment. We have tried to do our best as I said before that we had to respect the competition. The game was good, we had chances to score in the first half, we went behind then came back.

"When the opponent needs to play with everything as they are playing for their lives, and they do, it makes the difference.

"It matters if you are playing for something or playing for nothing. When you play for nothing, it is not that you are not 100 per cent concentrated, but when you have something to play for you know that every single ball is your life.

"It is not a final, it is playing for one more year at this level and Bolton has won the chance to play for one more year in the Championship.

"The club is a big club with a big crowd and in those final ten minutes, they wanted to survive and it was enough for them to beat us."

The manager now has the summer to prepare his squad as they seek to finish in higher up in the league table next season.

"Everyone can see the progress," he said. "We were in this position last season, so this season we have secured our position four or five games before the end. The team, everyone on the pitch can feel it and the main thing for me is that everybody is speaking about getting players in or getting promotion next season as everyone can feel the club improving.

"I know that we need to bring in players, I am not sure how many, but I know the kind of players that we want. Players who really want to join us, who believe in the project and to play with us and be successful with us."

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